Tour of Budapest with guide and vehicle
With the help of the guide and driver in 3 or 4 hours we are going to discover the most important monuments of Budapest.
We will start at Pest side, visiting the Heroes Square and the castle of Vajdahunyad, and after we will continue at Avenue Andrássy, admiring the spectacular facades of the State Opera House, the St. Stephen Cathedral, the Science Academy and the Parliament building. We will cross the river Danube by the Margaret Bridge, having a nice view to the island and we are going to visit the Main Street, the oldest one of Buda side. We are going upstairs to the Castle Hill, where we visit the Fishermen Bastion and Church Mathias.
In case of city tour in 4 hours, the entrance fee into the Church Mathias is included, and after we continue until the famous visiting point, called Citadel, best place to have pictures of the city. We return to Pest side crossing the Elisabeth bridge and we finish the sight-seeing in the middle of the city or in your hotel.
City Park of Budapest
City Park, or Városliget, in Pests northeastern reaches, makes a welcome break from the built-up inner-city area and incorporates many of Budapests drawcard. The entrance to City Park is Hősök tere (Heroes Square), which has the nations most solemn monument - an empty coffin representing one of the unknown insurgents from the 1956 Uprising - beneath a stone tile. The inspirational Millenary Monument, a 36m (120ft) pillar backed by colonnades, defines the square. The Angel Gabriel tops the pillar, offering King Stephen the Hungarian crown. To the north of the square is the Museum of Fine Arts, which houses the citys outstanding foreign works (especially the Old Masters collection), while to the south is the ornate Palace of Art. Inside the City Park is the City Zoo, with its beautiful Secessionist elephant house. Next to the zoo is the Municipal Great Circus. The gigantic wedding cake building south of the circus is the glorious Széchenyi Bath. In the middle of the park is the stunning Vajdahunyad Castle on the island in the lake, which becomes a picturesque setting for ice-skating in the winter. Outside the church opposite the castle, Ják Chapel, is a statue of a hooded scribe outside named Anonymous after an unknown chronicler who wrote a history of the early Magyars. Writers today touch his pen for inspiration. The surrounding streets on the southeastern corner of City Park are loaded with gorgeous buildings, residences and embassies. To get to City Park take the yellow Metro to Hősök tere, or walk up beautiful Andrássy út.
Heroes Square of Budapest
The Heroes Square is surrounded by the Museum of Fine Arts, and Hall of Art. The construction began in 1896 to commemorate the thousandth anniversary of the Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin and the foundation of the Hungarian state in 1896, and was part of a much larger construction project which also included the expansion and refurbishing of Andrássy Avenue and the construction of the first metro line in Budapest. Construction was completed in 1900, which was when the square received its name.
Vajdahunyad Castle of Budapest
Vajdahunyad Castle built in 1896 as part of the Millennial Exhibition which celebrated the 1.000 years of Hungary since the Hungarian Conquest of the Carpathian Basin in 895. The castle was designed by Ignác Alpár to feature copies of several landmark buildings from different parts the Kingdom of Hungary, especially the Hunyad Castle in Transylvania (now in Romania). As the castle contains parts of buildings from various time periods, it displays different architectural styles: Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque. Originally, it was made from cardboard and wood, but it became so popular that it was rebuilt from stone and brick between 1904 and 1908. Today, it houses the Museum of Hungarian Agriculture, the biggest agricultural museum in Europe.
The statue of the chronicler Anonymus (by Miklós Ligeti) is also displayed in the castle court. Anonymus lived in the 12th century (his true identity is unknown, but he was a notary of Béla III of Hungary), who wrote the chronicle Gesta Hungarorum (Deeds of the Hungarians). The castle contains a statue of Béla Lugosi, as well, who was a Hungarian-American actor famous for portraying Count Dracula in the original 1931 film.
Andrássy Avenue of Budapest
Andrássy Avenue is a boulevard in Budapest, Hungary, dating back to 1872. It links Erzsébet Square with the Városliget. Lined with spectacular Neo-renaissance mansions and townhouses featuring fine facades and interiors, it was recognized as a World Heritage Site in 2002. It is also one of Budapests main shopping streets, with fine cafes, restaurants, theaters, Embassies and luxury boutiques. Among the most noticeable buildings are the State Opera House, the former Ballet School (under reconstruction since several years), the Zoltán Kodály Memorial Museum and Archives, the Hungarian University of Fine Arts and the Ferenc Hopp Museum of East Asian Arts.
Opera House of Budapest
In the heart of Pest, on Andrássy út, is the Opera House. Seeing a performance is almost secondary to seeing its lavish interior. A night out at the Opera House is authentically Budapest, an absolute must. Tours of the neo-Renaissance building are also available if you can not make a gig. Given the number of festivals in Budapest, including the Budafest Summer Opera and Ballet Festival, there is almost a year-round performance schedule.
The Dohány Street Synagogue of Budapest
The Dohány Street Synagogue, also known as The Great Synagogue, is a historical building in the 7th district of Budapest, Hungary. It is the largest synagogue in Europe and one of the largest in the world. It seats 3,000 people and is a centre of Neolog Judaism. The synagogue was built between 1854 and 1859 in the Moorish Revival style, with the decoration based chiefly on Islamic models from North Africa and medieval Spain (the Alhambra). The synagogues Viennese architect, Ludwig Förster, believed that no distinctively Jewish architecture could be identified, and thus chose "architectural forms that have been used by oriental ethnic groups that are related to the Israelite people, and in particular the Arabs”. The interior design is partly by Frigyes Feszl.
The Dohány Street Synagogue complex consists of the Great Synagogue, the Heroes Temple, the graveyard, the Memorial and the Jewish Museum, which was built on the site on which Theodore Herzls house of birth stood. Dohány Street itself, a leafy street in the city center, carries strong Holocaust connotations as it constituted the border of the Budapest Ghetto.
Raoul Wallenberg Holocaust Memorial Park of Budapest
The Raoul Wallenberg Emlékpark (memory park) in the rear courtyard holds the Memorial of the Hungarian Jewish Martyrs — at least 600,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered by the Nazis. Made by Imre Varga, it resembles a weeping willow whose leaves bear inscriptions with the names of victims. There is also a memorial to Wallenberg and other Righteous Among the Nations, among them: Swiss Vice-consul Carl Lutz; Giorgio Perlasca, Mons. Angelo Rotta, Mons. Gennaro Verolino ,Carlos de Liz-Texeira Branquinho , Carlos Sampaio Garrido
St. Stephens Basilica of Budapest
St. Stephens Basilica is a Roman Catholic basilica in Budapest, Hungary. It is named in honor of Stephen, the first King of Hungary (c 975–1038), whose supposed right hand is housed in the reliquary. It was the sixth largest church building in Hungary before 1920. Since the renaming of the primatial see, it is the co-cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Esztergom-Budapest. Today, it is the third largest church building in present-day Hungary.
The architectural style is Neo-Classical; it has a Greek cross ground plan. The facade is anchored by two large bell towers. In the southern tower is Hungarys biggest bell, weighing over 9 tonnes. Its predecessor had a weight of almost 8 tonnes, but it was used for military purposes during World War II. Visitors may access the dome by elevators or by climbing 364 stairs for a 360 view overlooking Budapest.
The Hungarian Parliament Building of Budapest
The Hungarian Parliament Building, which translates to House of the Country or House of the Nation), also known as the Parliament of Budapest for being located in that city, is the seat of the National Assembly of Hungary, one of Europes oldest legislative buildings, a notable landmark of Hungary and a popular tourist destination of Budapest. It lies in Lajos Kossuth Square, on the bank of the Danube. It is currently the largest building in Hungary and still the highest building in Budapest.
Budapest was united from three cities in 1873 and seven years later the Diet resolved to establish a new, representative Parliament Building, expressing the sovereignty of the nation. The building was planned to face the river. An international competition was held, and Imre Steindl emerged as the victor; the plans of two other competitors were later also realized in the form of the Ethnographic Museum and the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture, both of which face the Parliament Building. Construction from the winning plan was started in 1885 and the building was inaugurated on the 1000th anniversary of the country in 1896, and completed in 1904. (The architect of the building went blind before its completion.)
The Parliament Building is in the Gothic Revival style; it has a symmetrical façade and a central dome. The dome is Renaissance Revival architecture. Also from inside the parliament is symmetrical and thus has two absolutely identical parliament halls out of which one is used for the politics, the other one is used for guided tours. It is 268 m (879 ft) long and 123 m (404 ft) wide. Its interior includes 10 courtyards, 13 passenger and freight elevators, 27 gates, 29 staircases and 691 rooms (including more than 200 offices). With its height of 96 m (315 ft), it is one of the two tallest buildings in Budapest, along with Saint Stephens Basilica. The number 96 refers to the nations millennium, 1896, and the conquest of the later Kingdom of Hungary in 896.
The main facade overlooks the River Danube, but the official main entrance is from the square on the east side of the building. Inside and outside, there are altogether 242 sculptures on the walls. The facade displays statues of Hungarian rulers, Transylvanian leaders and famous military figures. The coats of arms of kings and dukes are depicted over the windows. The east stairs is flanked by two lions.
Liberty Square of Budapest
Liberty Square is a public square located in the Lipótváros neighborhood of Budapest, Hungary. The square is a mix of business and residential. The United States Embassy in Hungary and the headquarters for the Hungarian National Bank are located in the square. The Bank of Hungary building is in the historicist style of architecture. Some buildings on the square are designed in the Art Nouveau style. Two buildings were designed by Ignác Alpár. There are monuments for Ronald Reagan and Harry Hill Bandholtz. There is also a monument for Soviet liberation of Hungary in World War II from Nazi German occupation.
The Great Market Hall or Central Market Hall of Budapest
The Great Market Hall or Central Market Hall is the largest and oldest indoor market in Budapest, Hungary. The idea of building such large market hall arose from the first mayor of Budapest, Károly Kamermayer, and it was his largest investment. He retired in 1896 so when the building was completed, he participated in the opening ceremony as a citizen. It is located at the end of the famous pedestrian shopping street Váci utca and on the Pest side of the Liberty bridge at Fővám square.
The building was designed and built by Samu Pecz around 1897. The market offers a huge variety of stalls on three floors. The entrance gate is with neogothic touch. A distinctive architectural feature is the roof which was restored to have colorful Zsolnay tiling from Pécs. The area size of the building is 10,000 square meters, which is covered by steel structure. During the World Wars it was completely damaged and then closed for some years. Throughout the 1990s restoration works brought back the market to its ancient splendor. The building was awarded with FIABCI Prix d’Excellence in 1999. The Central Market Hall is one of the most popular tourist attractions of the city.
Most of the stalls on the ground floor offer produce, meats, pastries, candies, spices, and spirits such as paprika, tokaji, túró rudi, and caviar. The second floor has mainly eateries and souvenirs. The lángos stand, which Rick Steves considers to be the best at the market, is located on this floor, serving the deep-fried snack lángos. The basement contains butcher shops, fish market, and pickles. Not only do they have traditional cucumber pickles, but they also offer pickled cauliflower, cabbage, beets, tomatoes, and garlic.
The market is closed on Sunday, opens at 6am on other days, and closes at 5pm Monday, 6pm Tue-Fri and 3pm Saturday.
Castle Hill of Budapest
The Castle District on Castle Hill is the premier destination for visitors and contains many of Budapests most important monuments and museums, not to mention grand views of Pest across the snaking Danube. The walled area consists of two distinct parts: the Old Town where commoners lived in the Middle Ages, and the Royal Palace. Stroll around the medieval streets of the Old Town and and take in the odd museum. A brief tour in one of the horse-drawn hackney cabs is worthwhile for the leg weary. The Old Town is filled with attractively painted houses, decorative churches and the famous Fishermens Bastion. The latter was built as a viewing platform in 1905, named after the guild of fishermen responsible for defending this stretch of wall in the Middle Ages. It has commanding views over the city, and is dominated by seven gleaming turrets (representing the seven Magyar tribes who entered the Carpathian Basin in the 9th century) and a statue of St Stephen on horseback. Immediately south of the Old Town is the Royal Palace.
Royal Palace of Budapest
The Royal Palace has been burned, bombed, razed, rebuilt and redesigned at least half a dozen times over the past seven centuries. What you see today clinging to the southern end of Castle Hill is an 18th- and early 20th-century amalgam reconstructed after the last war. It houses, among other things, the impressive Hungarian National Gallery (which has a huge section devoted to Hungarian art), the Széchenyi National Library and the Budapest History Museum. Take a relaxing break in the palace gardens at the rear of the museum. Ferdinand Gate, under the conical Mace Tower, will bring you to a set of steps. These descend to a historic Turkish cemetery dating from the decisive Independence battle for Buda of 1686. To get to the Royal Palace, take the Sikló, a funicular built in 1870 (you can get there from Clark Ádám tér, or for the more energetic, walk up the Royal Steps or the wide staircase that goes to the southern end of the Royal Palace.
Matthias Church of Budapest
Matthias Church is a Roman Catholic church located in Budapest, Hungary, in front of the Fishermans Bastion at the heart of Budas Castle District. According to church tradition, it was originally built in Romanesque style in 1015, although no archaeological remains exist. The current building was constructed in the florid late Gothic style in the second half of the 14th century and was extensively restored in the late 19th century. It was the second largest church of medieval Buda and the seventh largest church of medieval Hungarian Kingdom.
The first church on the site was founded by Saint Stephen, King of Hungary in 1015. This building was destroyed in 1241 by the Mongols; the current building was constructed in the latter half of the 13th century. Originally named after the Virgin Mary, taking names such as The Church of Mary and The Church of Our Lady, Matthias Church was named after King Matthias in the 19th Century, who ordered the transformation of its original southern tower.
The church was the scene of several coronations, including that of Charles IV in 1916 (the last Habsburg king). It was also the site for King Matthiass two weddings (the first to Catherine of Poděbrady and, after her death, to Beatrice of Naples). During the century and a half of Turkish occupation, the vast majority of its ecclesiastical treasures were shipped to Pressburg (present day Bratislava) and following the capture of Buda in 1541 the church became the citys main mosque. Ornate frescoes that previously adorned the walls of the building were whitewashed and interior furnishings stripped out.
The church was the venue for the coronation of the last two Hungarian Habsburg kings, Franz Joseph in 1867 and Charles IV in 1916. During World War II the church was badly damaged. Matthias Church was used as a camp by the Germans and Soviets in 1944-1945 during the Soviet occupation of Hungary. The church was largely renovated between 1950-1970 with funding from the Hungarian government. The bell tower was restored, along with renovation of interior paints and frescos. The five-manual organ, which had been destroyed during the war, was updated and sanctified in 1984.
The Fishermans Bastion of Budapest
The Fishermans Bastion is a terrace in neb-gothic and new-romanesque style situated on the Buda bank of the Danube, on the Castle hill in Budapest, around Matthias Church. It was designed and built between 1895 and 1902 on the plans of Frigyes Schulek. Construction of the bastion destabilized the foundations of the neighboring 13th century Dominican Church which had to be pulled down. Between 1947–48, the son of Frigyes Schulek, János Schulek, conducted the other restoration project after its near destruction during World War II.
From the towers and the terrace a panoramic view exists of Danube, Margaret Island, Pest to the east and the Gellért Hill. Its seven towers represent the seven Magyar tribes that settled in the Carpathian Basin in 896. The Bastion takes its name from the guild of fishermen that was responsible for defending this stretch of the city walls in the Middle Ages. It is a viewing terrace, with many stairs and walking paths.
A bronze statue of Stephen I of Hungary mounted on a horse, erected in 1906, can be seen between the Bastion and the Matthias Church. The pedestal was made by Alajos Stróbl, based on the plans of Frigyes Schulek, in Neo-Romanesque style, with episodes illustrating the Kings life.
Gellért Hill of Budapest
Another hill, another climb: however the panoramic views of the Royal Palace, the Danube and its bridges are well worth the effort. At the top of Gellért Hill is the Citadella, a fortress of sorts, and the Independence Monument, Budapests unofficial symbol. With every hill climb comes the rewarding stroll down the other side, in this case to the pleasant Jubilee Park, an ideal spot for a picnic. Below Gellért Hill lies a gush of hot springs; not surprisingly, there are more public baths in the locale.